Nissan Leaf - Used

Car Review

Nissan Leaf e+, front
Nissan Leaf e+, side
Nissan Leaf e+, rear
Nissan Leaf e+, interior
Nissan Leaf e+, electric motor
Nissan Leaf e+, 2019, charging point
Nissan Leaf e+, 2019, boot
Nissan Leaf e+, 2019, rear seats
Nissan Leaf e+, 2019, display screen

THE latest Nissan Leaf is now down to under £15,000 with lease deals available on secondhand examples to help you go electric.

Of course, the original Leaf was the first mass-produced electric car and such is their reliability that there are still big numbers on the road.

They had a very small range even in eco mode and with the best electricity sipping driving.

A later version did much better with a larger battery and more power but then the latest model came along in 2017, taking the fight to the range of other electric cars coming onto the market.

Compared to some of them, it comes at a low starting price, and that filters down to the secondhand market, making this electric car available to many more drivers.

Some rivals have a greater range but they are also more expensive new and secondhand.

Not only is the Leaf more reasonable, its comfortable ride, decent handling and maximum range of more than 200 miles make it a great buy for many people.

There are two power options in the range, the first being a 150bhp electric motor and a 40kilowatt hour (kWh) battery pack.

This gives a good 0 to 60 miles an hour time of 7.6 seconds, and top speed is capped at 89 miles an hour to help the battery last longer.

Driven carefully, it has a maximum range of 168 miles - more than enough for the majority of drivers - and at a home 7Kw wallbox, it takes about seven hours for a full charge.

The more expensive models have a 62kWh battery and a more powerful 217bhp motor. That's a big power hike and it brings the acceleration time down to a warm hatch matching 6.7 seconds and top speed up to a limited 98mph.

But it also, with that careful right foot, takes the maximum range up to 239 miles.

If the Leaf is charged at a home wallbox, Nissan claims it will cost only £300 to charge it for a year, wheras a petrol car that does 40 miles per gallon will cost around £1500 in fill-ups.

And of course, where a 1.3 petrol car might cost £170 in road tax, the leaf is free.

Drive is to the front wheels through a single speed automatic gearbox. Electric motors deliver their power steadily all the time, and so a conventional manual or automatc gearbox is not necessary.

Refinement is excellent with plenty of sound insulation and of course, a very quiet motor in the first place.

One drawback though compared to most of the competition is the fastest type of charger the car can use.

Chargers go up to 350Kw and these can charge other electric cars up to 80 per cent in just 20 minutes.

However, the Leaf can only manage a 50Kw charger, and so the same level of charge takes 90 minutes. That said, the high power chargers are fairly few and far between.

Inside, there is space to seat five occasionally or four in for a long journey and the boot is also a good size, matching most of the others in the class.

Safety is excellent and it scored 5 stars in the Euro NCAP crash tests. All models come with an autonomous emergency braking system and pedestrian detection, six airbags, cross traffic alert, hill start assist, lane departure warning and blindspot monitoring.

Upper models also come with the Nissan ProPilot system, which combines lane keeping and active cruise control to make motorway driving and stop start traffic easier.

Basic equipment includes folding back seats, height adjustable driver's seat, electric windows, traction control, an eight inch infotainment screen and remote locking. Mid-range Visia adds cruise control, audio remote and climate control but you have to move up another level to get alloy wheels and sat nav.

Pay about £16,400 for an '18 18-reg Acenta with the 40kWh battery, or £26,900 for a '20 20-reg N-Tekna with the 62kWh unit.

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